Review: The Violets of March

Bee was unconventional, indeed. But there was also something a little off about her. The way she talked too much. Or talked too little. The way she was simultaneously welcoming and petulant, giving and selfish. And then there were her secrets. I loved her for having them.


THE VIOLETS OF MARCH, by Sarah Jio, is 304 pages and was published in April of 2011. I heard a lot of positive buzz about the book on Twitter, so I bought it. I was reading two other books at the time, but I read the first chapter of VIOLETS just to get a feel for it and didn’t close it until two days later.  I’m officially declaring this the beach read of the 2011 season.

When the story opens, former New York times bestselling author, Emily Wilson, watches her husband leave her. She’s barely able to write her name on the divorce papers let alone work on a manuscript, so she seeks retreat at Bainbridge Island, Washington–the place that held all of the magic of her young summers, and her beloved and mysterious Aunt Bee.

Almost as soon as she arrives, the inhabitants of the island gravitate toward Emily and she becomes involved in a decades-old mystery that continues to haunt all involved. When Emily finds a diary in her room at her Aunt Bee’s house, she starts to piece together the past. What she learns not only has implications for the inhabitants of Bainbridge Island, but also for herself.

For me, a great beach read has certain elements–a beach setting, memorable characters, secrets, a mystery, and a dash of romance. THE VIOLETS OF MARCH is a captivating blend of all of these ingredients.  Jio’s descriptions of the island in Washington State are vivid and effective. Every time I picked up the book I was immersed in Emily’s world in the small, charming, island town. I was interested in all of the characters, and the resolution of the book was satisfying and believable.

On a side note, I was amazed to learn that Sarah Jio (one of the nicest people on Twitter) is the mother of three very young sons, and managed to write this book while she was pregnant with the third.  She is an inspiration to work-at-home mothers everywhere.

Have you read THE VIOLETS OF MARCH? I’d love to hear what you thought of the book.


5 thoughts on “Review: The Violets of March

  1. I haven’t read it, but it will definitely go on my must-read pile! It does always amaze me what mums are able to do (i.e. writing fabulous novels) when I always seemed to struggle to just bathe myself with 2 little boys running round the house! 😉

  2. Erika Robuck says:

    I can’t speak for Sarah, but you don’t want to see the state of this writer-mama’s house most days of the week. And we often eat “whatever” for dinner. 🙂

  3. I am glad you liked it because it is on my list of to-reads as well. I have been amazed by what I have read about her onTwitter and various blogs. She is a great example of perseverance, discipline, and dedication. I love supporting the writing moms out there!

    Great review, Miss Erika!

  4. Great review, Erika. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book. I also have been following Sarah and the buzz around her book on Twitter. This is most definitely on my “to read” list!

  5. Haven’t read it, but it sounds VERY good. Hope my local library has it!

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